Proceedings of The World Conference on Gender Equality
Queer Collaborations: LGBTQ2IA+ Influences, Interrogations and Intersections in 20th Century Pop Diva Iconography
This paper explores the practice of what I call “Queer-Diva collaboration” in the work of Annie Lennox. Queer-Diva collaborations are a common yet undertheorized phenomenon wherein female pop singers create art with members of the LGBTQ2IA+ community. My study argues that through these collaborations, Queer counterculture discourses reshape mainstream popular culture. This work draws on theories of artistic collaborations as “utopian modernist sites” (Green 175), forms of “gender collapse” (Butler 41,121) and testaments to “queer worldmaking” (Muñoz 22) to recover the Diva’s crucial relationship with LGBTQ2IA+ co-producers.
This work recovers a monumental cultural moment within two decades of music history and analyzes a pivotal Queer-Diva collaboration as a case study, one which broadcasts a watershed moment in LGBTQ2IA+ politics. The case study in question investigates Annie Lennox and DJ Junior Vasquez’s “No More ‘I Love You’s’” (Soundfactory Mix), a Billboard-topping dance remix which embodies a burgeoning era of LGBTQ2IA+ civil rights and acts as an aural shield against hegemonic oppression. Through interdisciplinary lenses, archival research and ethnomusicological deconstruction, this paper examines the effects of Queer-Diva collaborations and asks how they disrupt anti-Black, anti-Queer and heterosexist discourses.
keywords: Annie Lennox, Diva, Worldmaking, Collaboration, Queer, Gender, Feminism, Pop, Fashion, Styling, Music, Visual Art, Technology, Politics, Civil Rights